Sunday, April 6, 2008

www.photographermattmills.com/blog is my new home on the internet. come by and see.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

I think I'm done blogging. Can't do it anymore. no real reason; there are like 3 people who read this regularly and I talk to all of them pretty often any way. so yeah. later kids.

Monday, January 28, 2008


I took yesterday off, not because of anything in particular, but because sunday is my day of rest. Unless I've got a good reason, I try to take a day a week off. It's been sundays now for a while.

Saturday was an all right day at work. It felt like friday all day long though. Went home, and Alex was around. Seems like ages ago that he got back, though it's only really been a week or two.

We went out Bishop's Lodge Road, to look at a motorcycle I'd noticed on my ride the other day. It looked like it was in OK shape, missing a gas tank and a few other sundry things, but nothing too big, it seemed like. So we went and knocked on the door of the house next to the vacant lot, and the woman at the door gave us the number of the owner of the lot and the bike. Called him, he wanted 150, which seemed reasonable, so we said yeah sure, we'll take it.

Watched a few movies. Bad News Bears (the new one) sucks. Everything about it is undeveloped, unstated, and not good. The only redeeming feature was the few good jokes, which I won't spoil.

I made a nice big brunch this morning. Eggs and potatoes and sausage, coffee and OJ. MMMM MMMM.

Then today we went back to look at the bike again. We noticed it was also missing a carburetor and the exhaust was rusted through on the bottom. And the oil tank was gone, and the switches on the bars were busted, and on and on. So, we're probably not going to get the bike after all. 150 is too much; we'd end up putting 500 in parts on it. It's not even worth stealing, we decided.

So we came back, watched a couple more movies; I made pasta. That's about it.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

So, today started out like any other day... without running water. You think it gets old hearing about it, you should try living it for six days. Never mind what happens to people in places where water is a scarce commodity, and plumbing is a luxury.

I forgot to brush my teeth this morning, but I did take a bar of soap to work so I could clean up in the bathroom there. I only slept about three hours last night, and it seemed like a good idea. It turned out fine.

As I was pulling into the parking lot at work (we park in a city lot; we have a pass and everything), my phone beeped at me. It was a text from Jessica, asking how I was and saying she'd like to be friends again. I said I would too. After all, I need all the friends I can get. Even though she's a little crazy. We all are.

Had to be at work early, to get trained on the USPS web site. it's really not a bad site, and I could have easily figured it out. So that was the first hour of the day, and then I was doing other little things around the gallery, I don't remember what all. Jen is with a client, and she asks me to go and get a painting (a glycee, more precisely, which is a fancy name for an inkjet). So I went and got it, and held it up for the client, and it had some damage on the edge, not the surface of the painting, but on the edge where the stretcher bars made corners. Specifically, the black was flaking off.

My job title is "Art Handler/Gallery Assistant." I handle 90% of the paintings that come in, and almost all of the ones on the walls, even those that have been there longer than I have, I've re-hung or re-shot. I know/have learned how to handle paintings pretty well, and haven't damaged any so far. I have dinged a few frames, I'll admit. But the damage on that painting was from being on flimsy stretcher bars, not mishandling. The whole thing flexed from changing humidity, causing the black to come off where the stretchers joined.

So, after the client is gone (I don't think they even saw the damage), Jen calls me over to show me the damage, and blames me for it, and then tells me about some damage to another painting that she'd noticed. The other painting had come in on one of my days off, and it had sat on the floor (it's also exposed canvas, what they call gallery edges, no frame). The day I got back, I asked Judy what to do with it, she said wrap it and store it, so I did. We wrap our paintings in bubble wrap when they go into storage. The damage was on the bottom two corners, and it was dirty; basically, it was damaged from sitting on the floor for two days while I wasn't there. And this is my fault.

To say I was pissed would be a bit of an understatement. I went to the back and just stood there for a few minutes, calming down. There's nothing I can do. If I get mad and tell her off, I'm fired, which is bad. If I try and reasonably tell her it's not my fault, then she just tells me I'm making excuses, and I get a black mark.

So, I calm down, go home for lunch, and chill with Alex for half an hour. I tell him what's up, and that I'm thinking of blowing town to go east (to philly, I'm pretty sure) a lot sooner than I'd planned. Like, now.

He says, "Wait a few weeks, and then we can both go."

Fuckin' A. So, I'm gonna go east.

Went back to work, finished out the day, came home, and the water was on. So, all is right with the world.

Friday, January 25, 2008

long time no post....

With the Fire
A lot has been going on, too. Still haven't heard about the freelance work. Hanging in limbo about that, but a ton of other stuff has happened.

Andrew and I aren't really hanging out any more... he was getting a little to close. I'm not looking for that kind of relationship with a dude, or anyone, really. So yeah. Made him some prints, though, so hopefully we'll still be friends.

My house has been without water since last sunday, going on 6 days. if it's not fixed at the end of tomorrow, I don't know what I'm going to do. I've had one shower in that time; I've kept the BO down with washcloths and deodorant.

I'm 1000 words into what I hope will be my first novel... it's based on the idea of a guy not unlike myself, who has had all these near death experiences, meets a woman, falls in love. Don't know what will happen to him after that, though I do know he gets shot. Not by who or where. Or if he survives. Or if he deserves to. It's time to just write the story; one sentence at a time.

The other day, I took it into my head to go on a bike ride. I found the most amazing stretch of downhill ever. Straight, flat, no cars in the middle of the day, and almost a mile long. The uphill to get there is kind of a drag, especially since I had to climb it twice (once with a half flat tire and once after I went down into town again to inflate it). But the downhill portion was worth it. My rear wheel is a little out of true, and I was going fast enough that it was making me fishtail a little, so I braked a bit, held back, and it smoothed out. I think 40 is my top speed on that bike.
The Big Hill
So, I get down the hill and get into Tesuque, this little village/tourist trap, which marks the halfway point for this ride. It's a nice little town, gentrified out the ass, though. Tourists and expensive homes. The road back, Bishops' Lodge road, has some nice twists and turns, with interesting things around most of the bends; horse ranches, communes, the Shidoni Sculpture gardens. It's a closed-in intimate road. Nice in a car, nicer on a bike, with all the little rolling hills, climb up, sprint down, over and over again.

Then I hit the hill. The climb back up to get back into town nearly beat me. I did it, just barely. The last hundred yards before the crest of that hill were the hardest I've ever done on a bike. Then, from there, it's a nice coast all the way back into town. A nice long downhill again, as a reward for getting to the top.

Then, with the serendipitous timing that seems to define my life, my friend Nicolle called me and said I could come over and use her washer/dryer/shower. So I did. I borrowed a book, "Running With Scissors," which is pretty good so far. I might actually review the thing here when I finish reading it. Then again it's from 2002.

Alex and I had trashy action movie Tuesday; Both Transporter movies (the first one was decent and the second one was ridiculous) and "Lucky Number Slevin," which I'd seen but was still good and funny the second time. Bishop the husky is around, too, and cool as a cucumber unless you leave him alone.
Bishop the lap dog
Yesterday, we went off-roding. Well, actually, there was a road, but it was covered in ice and snow; it was a forest access road out past Canyada (spelled wrong, I know, but that's how you say it). The moon was really really bright. I was hand holding and making pictures. That's how bright.
Going down the trail in moonlight
Then today I went to work after three hours' sleep. I was actually all right; did my work, did it pretty decently. Came home, still no water. The city guy came by today, turned it on for maybe half an hour, but there's a burst pipe in the other side that needs to be fixed before they can turn it back on for good.
On the Truck
Then I went to best buy with alex, we looked at an ipod touch. Really cool little gadget. I kinda want one, but can't deal with the sticker shock. I'm eating pasta and PB&J, you know? So yeah, while we were there, we looked at the blog on the ipod and alex was like dude, you're way behind. And I was like, I know, I know. So now I'm posting. Photos to follow soon; check back in an hour and there'll be photos in this post. (edit: got the photos up! yay for me!)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The nine times I've nearly died, Pt. 2

The ocean obviously had it in for me. I should have known this. Maybe I did. After nearly drowning as a toddler, I never showered. I took baths in very shallow water. It wasn't until I was almost 9 that I really learned to swim.

Anyway, this story has nothing to do with my former fears. This was much later. I was just finished with my junior year in college. One of my professors (who will remain nameless, because he knows who he is) invited me to be a part of a pilot program to do field work in the Yucatan. And, me being me, I jumped at the chance.

I planned to fly down a week early, to get a feel for the country and just have a chance to acclimate. And as it turned out, my girlfriend at the time came with me for that week. I have some very fond memories of her in a hammock on the most perfect white sand beach in the world, except for the mosquitoes, which were only a problem at sunset.

Anyway, after I put her safely back on a plane and the rest of the crew got in, we all met up in the city of Merida, had a day or two there, then headed back for that same white sand beach, the island of Holbox.

So, we're there for several days, trying to sort out details. We were working with this NGO that was studying sea turtle nesting, whale sharks, and habitat. Finally we arrange get over to the turtle nesting beach that the group we were working with was monitoring. We leave at midnight, because of the tides and the way female sea turtles lay eggs, it's the optimal time to go. So, it's dark and late ad I've been sleeping on the floor of this one room apartment with three other college students. We're tired, but careful to pack all of our gear in plastic bags for the boat ride to the actual nesting beach. Then, everything comes out, we all put on 100% DEET bug repellent, and get started moving down the beach on these two ATVs.

The night went really well; I think we saw and photographed 6 turtles nesting, which the volunteers said was a lot; it seemed like a lot. We got to the end of the nesting beach, and turned around to head back. There were no stops on the way back, and the two drivers, Collee students like us, macho to the core, started racing each other. Now, there are three people on each ATV, and they're supposed to carry 2, max. Ind I glance over our driver's shoulder and see the speedometer: 50 MPH.

We were out in front by probably 100 yards. A minute or so after I saw our speed, out of nowhere, there was this little tidal pool, maybe 6 inches deep, but with a steep drop into it. As I saw it, I thought 'oh shit I'm fucked,' and then it was happening. I had been hanging off the side of the ATV, sitting on the rear luggage rack. The machine went over onto me, sliding as we went. It landed on my left hip, and my right hip landed on my cameras, in the water. In the salt water.

The second ATV caught up with us within a few seconds; luckily they'd seen us go over and had slowed in time to stop. They lifted the machine off of me; I got up, wrung my shirt out, dumped the water out of my camera bag, and bummed a cigarette. My first in a while. I was pretty shaken up, you understand. Cameras were ruined, but I was fine, apart from a bruise where I landed on my cameras and the ATV landed on me.

Friday, January 18, 2008

My Name Is...

So, I have this habit of saying "_______ is my middle name!" when someone admonishes me to be something, or says that something I'm going to go and do is x. My real middle name, for those in the wings, is Arthur. Lately, I've been thinking it must be "lucky" because, like most people with that moniker, I haven't been. But hey, let's not dwell on the bad luck/bad judgements/bad shit that's happened in the last 48 hours. Despite all of that, there is a good news list.

Alex is back in town. That's definitely on the good news list. This morning, right as I was about to leave, he got to the house with Bishop, his dog, and asked me if I wanted breakfast. He made me an egg sandwich. It was nice, you know? Delicious, too.

Also on the good news list, I didn't really lose the memory card that disappeared last night. Andrew found it in his driveway today. Lucky me. What else? Ummm... still haven't heard about freelance work for the New Mexican. We'll see.

what else? no idea how I'm going to make bills. no money to go out, so no real social life. oh well shit happens. I'll figure out something, I always do. That's all for now. I know, weak sauce blog post. I'll do something more later.